"They've got people who will step up," said Mike Moore, a lifelong fan from Indianapolis. "They lost a lot of really good talent. I think they've got a good staff and system in place. Will Sheehey can do more. Yogi can be great. I think they'll be really good."
During player introductions, the crowd reserved its loudest cheers for Sheehey, a senior forward expected to shift from a sixth man role into a go-to scorer. Sheehey came out to Tom Petty's "Last Dance with Mary Jane" and tossed two white T-shirts into the stands.
Later in the light scrimmage, Sheehey accounted for nearly half of his team's points while playing with fifth-year senior Evan Gordon, who arrives from Arizona State and figures to join Sheehey in the starting lineup. Their Red team claimed a 40-28 victory over the White team led by Ferrell and Jeremy Hollowell.
Freshman Devin Davis held off Hanner Mosquera-Perea to win a competitive dunk contest. Davis received a perfect score of 50 on his final dunk, a soaring tomahawk on which Davis needed almost full extension of his right arm to reach the rim. Mosquera-Perea had perhaps the best jam - two dunks in one, actually - of the four-man field. On his second turn, Mosquera-Perea ran behind Ferrell, who tossed an underhand lob off the backboard which Mosquera-Perea caught and slammed with his right hand. Mosquera-Perea also dunked another ball that he had been carrying in his left.
Fans got their first glimpse on the Assembly Hall court of a star-studded recruiting class, headlined by Noah Vonleh, Luke Fischer and Troy Williams. None played in the scrimmage, however. Williams (right hand) and Fischer (left shoulder) are dealing with minor injuries. It was revealed after Hoosier Hysteria that Vonleh sustained an ankle injury in practice Wednesday. Vonleh still competed in the 3-point contest.
That shootout was won by Ferrell in a 17-13 decision over Kaila Hulls, the sister of Jordan.
The festivities began with a rousing "Hoosier Nation" chant, a dance routine by the team and a showing of the "This is Indiana" music video by former students Brice Fox and Daniel Weber.
The Hoosiers will play their first exhibition game Oct. 26 against Southern Indiana and open the season against Chicago State on Nov. 8.